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The Durande

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Everything posted by The Durande

  1. Constitutions are restrictions on government, and rules for governmental procedures like elections and appointments or military decisions. Laws are restrictions on people.
  2. Does a proton or neutron have mass? YES Does an atom have mass? YES Does a molecule have mass? YES Does dirt, rock, water, ice, or air have mass? YES Do living beings have mass? YES Do decaying ex-living beings have mass? YES Does the planet earth have mass? YES Do all of the planets have mass? YES Does the sun have mass? YES Do asteroids have mass? YES Does the solar system have mass? YES Do all of the solar systems have mass? YES Does the galaxy have mass? YES Do all of the galaxies have mass? YES Does the universe have mass? YES It is all of you who are ARBITRARILY making a different kind of thing out of the universe than it is. It is simply everything. Always has been, always will be. Now, ADMITTED RATIONALISM (nonsense) aside, how can one conclude otherwise? Even if there is a "net zero gravitational effect," how does that change the fact that all of the things producing that net zero have mass, and when added up to form the universe they (in total) have mass? Don't put the cart before the horse. Even if a "net zero" gravitational effect could be detected or proven, that doesn't wipe out the other properties (including mass) that are present. The entities are here. That is given. It is our job to make discoveries about them, NOT to rationalize about their properties based on the SUPPOSED absence of one other property. We must look at what we khow. We know the answers to all of my questions above. We especially shouldn't WIPE OUT a property that we know to exist in its constituents. The only POSSIBLE explanation for doing so is that one is engaging in RATIONALISM, or nonsense. This net-zero-gravitational-effect-proving-the-universe-has-no-mass nonsense is equivalent to my standing in the street and looking at a cinder block building with no windows, and saying, "There is no light coming from that building, therefore, there are nothing capable of illumination inside that building." Or, a business whose liabilities and assets exactly cancel each other out to zero, and some misguided accountant saying "This business has NO financial activity." THE UNIVERSE HAS MASS WHETHER SOME PROPERTY OF MASS IS BEING CANCELLED OUT OR NOT. A tug-of-war match that ends in a tie STILL TOOK PLACE. You cannot blank out a fact of reality based upon your ASSUMPTIONS about one of its properties. That is VINTAGE primacy of consciousness. (In other words, it is what wackos do.)
  3. I attacked an ADMITTED RATIONALISTIC view as being "wacko." Guilty. I basically said that those who agree with it are "wacko." Guilty I implied that those who knowingly defend it are engaging in dishonesty. Guilty. BUT I AM RIGHT, AND YOU, MY "INTELLECTUAL BETTERS." ARE WRONG. Just like on the other thread, when Stephen said I was wrong about my denying the existence of an honest, informed argument against Objectivism. I simply asked for one example - EVER - of an honest agrument against Objectivism that does not misrepresent it. NO ONE came up with anything. Yet he still has not admitted he was wrong. No, as far as I can tell, it is Stephen who has NEVER admitted he was wrong and it is HE with the character flaw.
  4. I will respond one more time. 1. No, Betsy, they DON'T mean the same thing. I am looking at an Oxford Dictionary AND THESAURUS and: a) the definitions aren't even close, and "population" is not given in the thesaurus section under "populace." What made you think they mean the same thing? AND, I'll have you know, that my using of the word "population" was the CORRECT choice to begin with, and that is why I made it. 2.About the anti-lock brakes, please don't be rationalistic. The universe is NOT a container, as the garage in your example is. The only thing you can say for YOUR example is that in that instance, if the garage is vieved as a container, it contains anti-lock brakes. 3. The rest of this post is not specifically for you, Betsy, but to everyone in general. 4. The following is a quote from post #8 (Ed from OC) "I bring this up because I speculate that there may not be a net gravitational attraction between everything in the universe, and therefore there would (again) be zero mass to the universe. How is that possible? If an object is attracted equally in opposite directions, then there is no net attraction; the forces cancel. If a large astronomical object is located midway between other large astronomical objects, then it would not be attracted in any preferred direction. But each of these other objects would themselves be in the same state, unless one was at the edge of the universe. And there is no edge of the universe! That means there would be no net attraction between objects in the universe, when the universe is taken as a whole. (This speculation is admittedly rationalistic, but as far as I know, it hasn't been made elsewhere, and I'm curious if it's true. Maybe there's something known in astrophysics or general relativity that answers this, but I'm not familiar enough with either to say.)" Ed says that he speculates no net gravitational attraction, and therefore zero mass. HE THEN AT THE END ADMITS THAT HE IS BEING RATIONALISTIC. 5. I have FIRSTHAND heard Leonard Peikoff say that those who are engaged in rationalism are literally engaging in NONSENSE. Literally in the sense that what they choose to deal with is ENTIRELY non-sensory data. (Living in the world of concepts and words instead of observing reality.) To me, those who willfully engage in "non-sense" are wackos. 6. "Wackos" may not be the nicest way of putting it, but it's not the ultimate condemnation that you are making it out to be. To me, it's almost a loving way of looking at someone who has gone over the edge - not necessarily permanently, but only for isolated instances. I have an uncle who is a "wacko." No big deal. I just don't expect it here, and from so many people at once. 7. Stephen, it was VERY convenient of you, in post #14 to quote me out of context: "It simply must have size. . ." It would have taken about 5 seconds more of your time to include all of what I typed, but you chose not to. I wonder why. EVERYONE, please note that I have in parentheses (mass) (total atomic mass) immediately following the word "size." AND then read post #8 where ED from OC basically agrees with me, before he goes on to his ADMITTED RATIONALISM. 8. This whole thread is basically about ED from OC basically agreeing with me, but THEN going on into his ADMITTED RATIONALISM. 9. I must say something about this "Fallacy of Composition." The Fallacy of Composition is basically: drawing a conclusion about every thing in a group, based on a fact about one thing in a group. This Korean is intelligent,, therefore, all Koreans are intelligent. I am NOT doing that here, and, not only that, I would argue that anyone who says that I am is either being rationalistic or dishonest. If I said:I have mass, I am a part of the universe, so everything that is a part of the universe has mass, THEN I would be committing that fallacy. So, stop misusing that fallacy. What I am saying here is that: We have a definition of universe that I find adequate, from THE AYN RAND LEXICON, "The universe is the total of that which exists - not merely the earth or the stars or the galaxies, but everything." Notice it says "The universe IS (emphasis mine). . ." It doesn't say "The universe CONTAINS. . ." We also have the fact that whatever the "ultimate constituents" may be, "whether one or two or ten" (paraphrased), they will have identity. Well, one of the aspects of identity that I have discovered in anything I have ever enountered made of matter is that it also has mass. I AM NOT SAYING, and have never said that there aren't some things in the universe that may or may not have matter or mass. I AM saying that, when you look at the definition of "universe" and then look at the world around you, you can reason: 1. the things I encounter have mass, 2. the universe IS these things, NOT "CONTAINS" these things. 3. The universe has mass, because these things that it "IS" have mass. SIMPLE. 10. Last, but not least: Who owes whom an apology? I called someone a "wacko" who was ADMITTEDLY BEING RATIONALISTIC. Maybe that was too strong for your context. I throw that word around - you have to admit it is much lighter a term than "insane" or "mad." But if THAT is all this is about, I can apologize for using that word. But, Stephen, I apologize for nothing else. Not my tone, not my occasional capitalization, and not my attitude. I see rationalism as one of the key things that has to be "learned" out of the students of Objectivism if the philosophy has any chance to survive another generation. If someone new to Objectivism comes here and sees post #8. They will run away - and they would be right. Over and out.
  5. I understand what it is now. It is not some fallacy I am committing, or that you are committing. We differ in what we mean by the word "has." It is as simple as that. As far has I can see, when I use the word "has" in the simple sentence, "The universe has mass," I use it as meaning: posesses OR includes OR has as an attribute. I have O - Positive blood. I have blue eyes. I have cells. I have teeth. I have skin. I have mass. As can be clearly seen from my posting history, I uphold reality as the ultimate arbitrer, not scientists, not "fallacies," and not even Ayn Rand, and especially not someone's interpretation of what Ayn Rand meant. I ONLY look at reality and then think. Ever. When I look at everything I've ever encountered, one of these thing's traits is always mass. Now, you all want me to believe that the group of all these things does NOT posess this trait. Okay then, lets play fair: I understand that you all take the position that I should not go out on such a limb, but does anyone care to take the position that the universe DOES NOT have mass????????????? I have been put on the defensive for stating the obvious before. As you all wish, I am done playing this silly game. Does anyone here care to make an assertion about the real world, rather than the assertion that I am wrong???
  6. Israel, in my opinion, would be an example of "a far far far lesser of two evils in that part of the world. For instance, Canada, as bad as it is, is far, far, better politically.
  7. Would you feel better if I used the noun "populace" instead of "population"????? Geez, are we nit-picking a bit??? There are anti-lock brakes in my car. My car HAS anti-lock brakes. I really don't know any other way to say it. This is painful.
  8. All of this is very simple. If the roads are someday to be privatized, presumably the government must auction them off, or some other type of sale. Well, one of the coniditions of the sale would be that the buyer of a road or a group of roads would have to also have to agree to a stipulation that his prices must be uniform (and by that I don't mean the same for everybody, neccessarily) they could be set by a variety of factors (veh. weight, tolls,annual odometer reading, etc.). The buyer would also have to agree that he doesn't have the right to deny any U.S. citizen who has reached driving age and pays the fee, however established, access to the roads. There is ABSOLUTELY no sense in discussing what would happen if the roads in the U.S. had always been private, with no safeguards in place against abuse, and somehow someone wakes up one day with his house completely surrounded by people who won't let him on or off of his property. (Read: The Ethics of Emergencies) But, to be sure that things run smoothly, if anyone wants to take a chance and build a house up in the hills where there are currently no roads, then the rule would have to be: Let the buyer beware. Or the buyer of this secluded property could just build his own road as well that links up to an existing road. And, let me add that if someone here comes up with an imaginary nightmare-like problem that I have now overlooked, I GUARANTEE that I will have an adequate solution within ONE HOUR of reading the post.
  9. No. Not yet. In fact, that gives me an idea. If I am able to get up my stomach strength, AND somehow a copy of his book falls into my lap without having to pay for it, I might publish a rebuttal myself. But seriously, I was over at a Barnes & Noble and it was there on the shelf, and they do let people just hang out and read there without buying anything, so I guess if I had ABSOLUTELY nothing else to do I could kick back over there someday and do it. But my values just probably won't allow me to waste a day like that.
  10. Actually I have read excerpts, because a few years ago he had them posted online. He said he was working to make it a part of a book at the time. He misrepresents Objectivism, and this is no exaggeraton, in just about every paragraph he writes. He is one of the most dishonest people I have ever had the displeasure of reading. I won't even do him the service of repeating some of his nonsense here. You'll have to read his typing (I refuse even to call it a book) for yourself.
  11. The bricks that are part of my house have mass. My house has mass. The water molecules in Lake Erie have mass. Lake Erie has mass. The each page of my copy of Atlas Shrugged has mass. The book has mass. Each person in the world has mass. The world's population has mass. Hydrogen and Helium atoms have mass. Stars have mass. Stars,people, books, lakes, and houses have mass. Those masses can be added up. So can the masses of all the other things that are composed of matter. The totality of everything is the universe. It would, yes, have mass. Why the hell is it that when I talk about something very big, like the universe, you people want to change the definition of the word mass? The universe consists of all those things above - and many more. So what? Why is it so hard to say that the universe has mass. I realize that there may be things that are a part of the universe that dont have mass, and that the mass of the universe would be difficult to quantify, but that difficulty doesn't change properties of things, or definitions of words.
  12. That is pure rationalism. If, like you say, the universe includes consciousness, it doesn't follow that the universe is conscious. If the Red Sox baseball team includes Manny Ramirez, the Red Sox team is not Manny Ramirez. Let's not turn into a bunch of pathetic linguists here, okay. I am saying that the cells of my body are A PART of the universe. They have mass. The universe hass mass. Someone, please try to make the case that the universe DOESN'T have mass. Please. I understand that proclaimed Objectivists have a strong tendedncy toward rationalism, but please people, try to fight it just a little.
  13. [he "ultimate constituents of the universe" needs to be broken down. Ultimate is confusing. i know that matter is a constituent. i know that matter hass mass. what else is needed?? i didn't "fail" to address it. i refused to.
  14. That's more like it. Although I said the same exact thing about a burrito I had the other day.
  15. Simple. I feel that those suffering from multiple sclerosis are unfortunate through no fault of their own. I see their value as human beings (potential businessmen, singers, musicians, actors, soldiers, etc.) I then conclude that it would be nice if they could live their lives to fruition. I then realize that I don't have the knowledge or the time to develop a cure for them by myself. So then I give my money to those who can develop a cure.
  16. ans. to question #1 - the universe is a group of entities. a very large group. it's all of them. ans to quetion #2 - no. but i would argue that the reverse is true with regard to matter. Matter has mass. The universe includes matter. The universe has mass. I NEVER said that every concept implies some type of mass. I said that things, like my laptop and I do. Colors,shape, etc. are attributes of matter. (color is a reaction between light rays and some various types of matter.) A b flat musical note doesn't have mass either. Neither does a good mood. Neither does my patience.
  17. "difficulties with philoshophy" does not = "agruments against" Objectivism. As I went through the struggles to understand Objectivism, I never came up with a good argument against Objectivism. I simply strove to grasp it all. And, on a more important note, anyone who tries to form an argument against something, yet does not fully or even nearly full understand what that something is, is engaging in a minor form of dishonesty. He is trying to refute - for some unknown reason - that which he hasn't grasped the meaning of. I can't ever remember an instance in my life when I was presumptuous enough attack some idea that wasn't clear to me. Who would waste people's time in that way????
  18. How 'bout just an hosest one then?? (It can't misrepresent Objectivism) Just one citation of something written - EVER - will suffice. I don't see any ambiguity there. I was simply answering the thread starter's request. If it seems impossible, then it is he who was asking the impossible. I can see many places to look for articles that meet my requirements: What about the TOC? There are no doubt that there are people there who understand Objectivism there, they just generally don't believe in it or want to adhere to its principles. What about theologians? Most of them are honest (in an everyday kind of way). Has anything been written by any of them (who understand Objectivism)? Note that I said there are places to look, I won't say any more of the liklihood of finding.
  19. What issue? The thread simply asked about good arguments against Objectivism. And now I am asking you: can you cite any honest ones (by someone who understands Objectivism)??? Just cite ONE, and you win.
  20. My god, Stephen, I expected better from you. Why don't YOU try to step back and answer these questions one by one? 1. Do atoms have an atomic mass? (Or is the periodic table just one big hoax?) 2. Do I and my lapstop and the Atlantic Ocean and the moon and the sun have atoms? And just to be sure - do they have mass? 3. Does a golf ball have mass? Does a pile of them have mass? 4. Are all of these things a part of the universe? 5. Can you really answer yes to all of these things and then say that the universe - which is a group of all existing things - does not have mass? I really don't want to argue this any more, because now, more than ever, I am truly losing my sense that Objectivism has a chance in my lifetime. I cannot believe what I am seeing on this board. And, yes, Stephen, I have read every word on this post. Have you? Reading some noteable scientist's ideas about the subject and then summarizing them here does not make an argument. Citing some "well established" fallacy does not make an argument. (christianity is "well-established" (to christians)). All I really want for Christmas is for someone to address those questions - and then maybe we can discover that perhaps there is some semantic issue here. I know that I am not entitled to an answer to them, but, being a person who ties all my abstractions down to concretes, I don't really know how t respond to any argument that does not deal with concretes. Even the concept "universe" for me is not a floating abstraction. I am not bragging. The universe is not something fundamentally different than all the things we have solid knowledge about. It is merely the SUM of all things that we know about AND the things we don't know much about. P.S. I really cannot add any more to this thread. What I have said is clear, and notably, consistent with Objectivism. Anything else will have to come from you guys. I hear that Leonard Peikoff and David Harriman are are collaborating on a book that may or may not touch on this subject. Perhaps their opinions would be interesting. P.S.S. Stephen, from the other thread, I still have yet to have someone present me with one article, lecture, or book - ever - that gives a good and honest argument against Objectivism by someone who understands and does not misrepresent Objectivism in that work of his or hers. Any luck?
  21. What we can catalogue is irrelevant to knowing that things, and very large groups of things(like the universe) have mass. We cant catalogue everything in the earth either - it's too hot at the center, but we know it has mass. I don't subscribe to the primacy of consciousness, and neither should you. Meaning: even if human beings weren't here to catalogue things, they would still have their attributes. Large goups of things are no different. Out.
  22. I think the best way to avoid, or even get rid of, faulty premises is to constantly focus outward onto reality when searching for material that your mind which eventually integrate into philosophic truth. I do not think that reading any philosophy, including objectivism will get you out of faulty premises. Imagine living on a deserted island. Could you afford the luxury of a faulty premise there??? No. It is exactly what I tell people who are religious (a whole set of very faulty premises): I tell them that they never would have developed these faulty premises if they had grown up on a deserted island. There simply is no time or need to indulge in nonsense. So, unlike a lot of Objectivists, I wouldn't really reccommend reading or listening to Objectivists. You should instead discover Objectivism for yourself, like Ayn Rand did. I'm not saying that you will, or that I, managed to discover it all on your own. But you would be very suprised to discover that there really is very little involved in leading a rational existence. All one has to do is think. Ayn Rand said it herself jokingly that she was too much of a coward not to be an Objectivist. (Implying that the easiest way to live was actually a dedication to reality and reason.)
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